Sports injuries don’t only affect professional athletes.
Anyone who enjoys an active lifestyle is susceptible to these injuries. If these are chronic, it can make exercise uncomfortable and painful.
Sports medicine is on the cutting edge. Now, instead of relying on medication, the blood pumping in a person’s veins can potentially treat joint and tendon injuries.
This is known as platelet-rich plasma or PRP therapy.
With this treatment, you first get blood taken. Then, the blood is sent to a centrifuge. This allows the plasma and platelets to separate.
Through that separation, the proteins within the platelets and plasma are captured. You then receive another injection that contains those proteins.
The goal is to get the muscle, tendon, or joint to repair itself.
Here are some sports conditions that can be alleviated or treated with PRP therapy.
A sore Achilles tendon may hinder those with an active lifestyle. At the first sign of discomfort, it’s best to get off your feet, ice the area, and rest.
By ignoring the pain and further straining the area, Achilles tendinopathy may develop. With this condition, your ankle is swollen and sore. Walking may be difficult.
The typical solution for Achilles tendinopathy has been a medication regimen and physical therapy over the span of six months. In the worst cases, a doctor would recommend surgery.
Now, sports medicine has evolved to the point where PRP therapy may reduce the pain associated with this condition.
You’ve probably heard of lateral elbow epicondylitis before, just by its more common name. This condition is tennis elbow. You don’t have to play tennis to develop it.
By overworking the wrists, you damage the lateral epicondyle. This leads to reduced mobility and intense pain.
According to the American Journal of Orthopedics, annually, almost one million Americans will get tennis elbow.
Just like with Achilles tendinopathy, sports medicine has changed the way lateral elbow epicondylitis is treated.
Corticosteroid injections and PRP therapy have been proven to be just about equally effective in reducing tennis elbow symptoms. Still, with PRP therapy on the horizon, this is a good alternative treatment for those with chronic wrist pain.
The rotator cuff in your shoulder may undergo a lot of strain. This area is also likely to tear.
While this can be painful, sports medicine hasn’t exactly come up with a foolproof treatment for rotator cuff tears. The preferred treatment, arthroscopic repair, may not prevent a second or even a third tear.
When PRP therapy is combined with arthroscopic repair, that may change. In some patients, their tendons may heal better. This may even sometimes lower the rate of another tear.
While chronic pain can be a hassle, PRP therapy is an emerging treatment that may be able to heal damage and reduce pain. To learn more about PRP therapy, contact the PRP Doctor Network today. You can find a doctor near you who specializes in this form of therapy.